Orbital ATK has hired 1,000 additional employees and expanded several weapons facilities to increase production capacity as it expects a rise in the demand for munitions and missiles from the Defense Department in the next few years, Defense News reported Wednesday.
“We have invested a decent number of millions, tens of millions, in a number of our facilities to support readiness,“ Mike Kahn, defense group president at Orbital ATK, said in a Tuesday interview with the publication at the Navy League's Sea-Air-Space conference in Maryland.
Kahn noted that the company has made a series of investments in several ammo and missile manufacturing plants as part of capacity growth efforts. Those facilities include the Rocket Center, West Virginia-based Allegany Ballistics Laboratory that makes warheads, rocket motors and fuses as well as the ammunition plant in Lake City, Missouri.
Orbital ATK unveiled a California facility to produce the Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile's extended range version and Kahn said the company plans to move AARGM-ER to the engineering and manufacturing development phase by the end of 2018.
The report said the AARGM-ER missile is scheduled for initial deployment by 2022 or 2023 and expected to be integrated by the U.S. Air Force into the F-35 fighter jet block upgrade.